iv. the hallelujah

“love is not a victory march
it’s a cold and lonely hallelujah.”


a man walks down a dirt road wearing a suit in the sun and carrying something that she can’t identify, cradled like a child. with lobbing glances, the women pass with drained expressions, pretending to be something other than what they feel.

on easter sunday, or any other day, a man tokes a fire in front of a stone cross, wearing a robe and a pompadour hat. he kisses her in her doorway, before riding away on his unicycle. she wakes, periodically, and realizes that she doesn’t look quite right in her old clothes. everything changes. she can’t help but hope that someday she’ll understand the words she has written; the songs she has danced to; the touch that made her, for a moment, forget.

and suddenly, a paint scar is a woven fabric, flapping above her cement ceiling. and although she forgot to throw water on the dust outside her window, three roses open on the patio. in the same way that she can still see the imprint of her sandals. and the dust is from esquintla and taxisco and denver and salcaja. and over it all is the dust from here, where she is standing. it is in her head, in her ears, caked in the small blonde hairs on her arms that he found so strange. she dances, only sometimes, and always carefully, and it is in her very shoes which at night she removes to hang above the three sleeping roses. when she walks off,  it is always barefoot.

leaving the dust behind.


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